Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Leading Great Discussions Do more than dispense information – Inspire transformation.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Leading Great Discussions Do more than dispense information – Inspire transformation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Leading Great Discussions Do more than dispense information – Inspire transformation

2 Evaluate your current discussions:  Are you managing both content and process? Or, are you preparing questions and feeling that the discussions aren’t developing as you’d like?  What tone are you setting for the group, in terms of sharing? Open, guarded, or somewhere in between?

3 Evaluate your current discussions:  Are you doing most of the talking? If so, is that intentional, or due to personality dynamics?  Are there people in your group who rarely contribute? If so, why do you think that is?  Are there people in your group who monopolize the discussion? Again, if so, why do you think that is?

4 Evaluate your current discussions:  Review your answers. What would you like to change about your group’s discussions?  Assume the perspective of one of your group members. What do you think they would want to change?  What stumbling blocks or discussion hurdles are you facing?

5 Overcoming Common Stumbling Blocks #1 – Not Enough Preparation  Always Have a Plan  Have a working knowledge of the material  Envision the discussion – where will it go?  Prioritize questions – often don’t need them all  Prepare your own answers  Answer relationship-building questions first to set the precedent  Answer study questions after everyone else

6 Overcoming Common Stumbling Blocks #1 – Not Enough Preparation  Consider Logistics  Is the room set-up conducive to discussion?  Move furniture to form a circle; make sure everyone can see everyone else  Is the environment comfortable for all?  Allergies, room temperature  Do you need discussion tools?  Videos, handouts, activities, maps

7 Overcoming Common Stumbling Blocks #2 – Lack of Structure  Follow the Small Group Agreement Template at www.cor.org/grouplife on the Leader Resource page. www.cor.org/grouplife  Framework should address:  Regular attendance – sporadic attendance diminishes connections  Promptness – interruptions kill discussions  Confidentiality, respectful language, and the sharing of discussion leadership

8 Overcoming Common Stumbling Blocks #3 – Inadvertently Setting the Wrong Tone  Start Strong – your energy level, outlook, and sharing are the group’s model  Pray for courage and guidance if you are reaching outside of your comfort zone  State discussion goals UPFRONT  “Tonight, let’s finish Chapter 10.”  “Today, I’d love to hear from Charlie and Isabel.”  Write goals on the whiteboard for emphasis

9 Overcoming Common Stumbling Blocks #3 – Inadvertently Setting the Wrong Tone  Start with a warm-up question – don’t dive right in to the study questions  Can begin with informal chatter  Warm up questions should reveal something about the speaker  Tie to the study when possible  You share first – model how long and how revealing the answer should be

10 Overcoming Common Stumbling Blocks #3 – Inadvertently Setting the Wrong Tone  Sample Warm-up Questions:  Who was God to you when you were a child?  What has been one of the best compliments you’ve received as an adult?  Tell us one interesting fact about where you grew up.  What is one thing you are really good at?  What was your favorite toy / book / movie as a child?  If you could be a fictitious person in a book or movie, who would you be?  Does your name have a special meaning?

11 Overcoming Common Stumbling Blocks #4 – Asking Too Many Closed Questions  Closed questions lead to “yes” or “no” answers. Use sparingly:  To lay the groundwork or drive home a point. Example: “Were the disciples initially confused by Jesus’ statement?”  When you need a yes/no answer. Example, “So, are we in agreement that we will meet next week at the Meyer’s home?”

12 Overcoming Common Stumbling Blocks #4 – Asking Too Many Closed Questions  Open-ended questions help members apply lessons to their lives  Begin with HOW, WHY, WHEN, WHAT  What do you think Paul meant here?  Why do you suppose the author groups these three parables together?  When you read this scripture, what came to mind?  How do you feel about Shannon’s suggestion?

13 Overcoming Common Stumbling Blocks #4 – Asking Too Many Closed Questions  Guide with statements using words like TELL, DESCRIBE, SHARE, GIVE, COMPARE  Tell us about a time when you struggled with that emotion.  Describe Martha’s viewpoint in this story.  Give us an example of a time when you felt the Holy Spirit’s guidance.  Compare the two sons in the story.

14 Overcoming Common Stumbling Blocks #5 – Managing the Discussion  The process is as important as the content  General Process Pointers:  Ask just one question at a time  Don’t fear silence – WAIT for an answer, even if it feels awkward  Give positive feedback / affirm participation even if answers are not quite “there” yet  Don’t be afraid to gently call on someone  Encourage more than one answer – “What do the rest of you think?”

15 Overcoming Common Stumbling Blocks #5 – Managing the Discussion  Use Guiding Statements and Probing Questions  Keep the group on track – “That’s a great story, Sarah. I think the author used a similar anecdote in Chapter 6. Let’s take a look at that.”  Direct the group to deeper reflection – “What else do you think Paul was trying to convey to the Corinthians?”  Challenge when necessary – “What do you mean when you say you are ‘not really a fan’ of this book of the Bible? Tell us what bothers you about it.”

16 Overcoming Common Stumbling Blocks #5 – Managing the Discussion  Use Clarifying Questions and Monitor Body Language  Demonstrate your engagement by leaning forward, nodding, facing speaker  If you are confused by a statement, someone else is, too. Get clarification for everyone’s sake.  Watch the room for signs of disconnection or discomfort, such as crossed arms, pursed lips, sighing, eyes looking down or away

17 Overcoming Common Stumbling Blocks #5 – Managing the Discussion  Address Potential Problems Early On  Discussion “Hogs”  Seat them next to you  Assert control with a guiding question or statement, politely interrupting if needed  At the start of your meeting, state that your goal is to hear from quieter group members  Take them aside privately to see if there is an underlying issue behind the monopolization

18 Overcoming Common Stumbling Blocks #5 – Managing the Discussion  Address Potential Problems Early On  Timid Contributors  Ask them easy, non-threatening questions to establish their confidence, and offer praise when they contribute  Enlist another member to act as their encourager  Use sub-groups to draw them out if your group is very large

19 Overcoming Common Stumbling Blocks #5 – Managing the Discussion  Address Potential Problems Early On  Conflict Between Members  Some friction can actually be good for discussions  If it is becoming heated, use redirection – intervene with another question, or use humor if appropriate.  Meet outside of the group if conflict runs deep. Aim for collaboration or compromise.  Enlist a Group Life staff member if a neutral party is needed.

20 Overcoming Common Stumbling Blocks #5 – Managing the Discussion  Address Potential Problems Early On  Shallow Dialogue  More relationship-building is needed – social activities, service projects, warm-up questions  Evaluate your own ability to open up  Use probing questions to dig deeper  Ask the group if they are satisfied with the dialogue. If they’re not, ask them to problem- solve with you.

21 Overcoming Common Stumbling Blocks #5 – Managing the Discussion  Address Potential Problems Early On  Going Off Topic  Look for a pattern. Do the same people cause the wandering? Have a separate discussion with them.  Your current study may not be capturing everyone’s attention. Ask the group, and switch studies if people are not engaged by the current topic.  Do you have a discussion plan made each week?  Don’t worry if it happens occasionally. Sometimes the best group bonding happens when you wander off topic.

22 Now, go and lead some great discussions! Questions? Contact us at grouplife@cor.org. grouplife@cor.org Additional Resources:  Leading Life-Changing Small Groups, Bill Donahue, Zondervan, 2012  Coaching Life-Changing Small Groups, Bill Donahue and Greg Bowman, Zondervan, 2012  Re-Group, Henry Cloud, Bill Donahue, John Townsend, Zondervan, 2007  The Definitive Book of Body Language, Allan and Barbara Pease, Bantam Dell, 2004  The Eight Habits of Effective Small Group Leaders, Dave Earley, Touch Publications, 2001  Community – Taking Your Small Group Off Life Support, Brad House, Crossway, 2011  Leading with Questions, Michael J. Marquardt, Jossey-Bass, 2005  What Your Story? Icebreaker Questions for Small Groups, Cheryl Shireman, Create Space, 2011  Why Didn’t You Warn Me? Pat J. Sikora, Standard Publishing, 2007

23 Leading Great Discussions Do more than dispense information – Inspire transformation


Download ppt "Leading Great Discussions Do more than dispense information – Inspire transformation."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google